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Louis Dreyfus reports drop in net income after U.S. drought

GENEVA, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Louis Dreyfus Commodities said its net income for continuing operations in the first half of the year fell by around 13 percent to $258.4 million from the same period in 2012, according to a report published on its website.

The results are the first released since long-serving chief executive Serge Schoen was replaced by its former head trader and chief operating officer, Ciro Echesortu, in June.

The trading giant said that the consequences of the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century last year had continued to hurt one of its core markets in 2013.

"In oilseeds and grains, the tight supply carried over from last year's mediocre harvest in North America led to limited export and crushing opportunities at the beginning of the period," said the report, which was seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The fall in income came despite a rise in net sales to $29.2 billion from $27 billion in the same period of 2012.

Louis Dreyfus, a 160-year-old company with French roots and trading operations in Switzerland, said it remained committed to its strategy of vertical integration, adding that the value of its total assets was over $20 billion.

"We remain dedicated to ongoing product diversification and selective geographic expansion, and to targeted asset growth," Echesortu said in a note within the report.

Dreyfus is one of the four global companies trading in agricultural goods. The others are Cargill,, Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd.